One of the new gym shoes released recently, the Nike Air Max Alpha Trainer 5 makes the subject of our review section this week. The 5th edition of this sneaker was released in 2022 in various colorways that quickly captured the attention of many. As the name suggests they are training shoes but of course, like most Nike sneakers on the market, they were designed to easily fit into casual attire. While they draw inspiration for the early 80’s models like the Bo Jackson’s trainers they are in essence modern budget trainig shoes. At a $90 retail price tag they are a much more affordable option to the Metcon which goes for $130 yet they are not the cheapest out there in this category. The 5 iteration of this shoe is surely an evolution from the previous edition in terms of looks but also support. The Alpha Trainer is a budget friendly line of shoes, much like the Run Swift, Downshifter or the Impact series.

How They Fit

The pair we got was the one in gray, navy and barley green, one that was able to get a better price as part of the end of year sale. Out of the box the shoes look very stylish and solid, with the sole being not as flexible as with the 4th edition which for a gym shoe is a good thing. They fit great out of the box with no break in needed and I can tell that they run true to size. If not sure about your size you can check our Nike shoes size chart here

Nike Air Max DM0829 004 trainer 1

Nike Air Max DM0829 004 trainer 3

Upper

The upper of the Nike Air Max Alpha Trainer 5 is made of a combination of mesh and seamless synthetic overlays. Compared to the 4 the mesh is not as plushy but seems more durable and thinner which adds some much needed ventilation. The synthetic overlays give the sneaker a nice look but also they are distributed strategically to add more support where it’s needed. Much like the previous version there is no enhanced heel cup but this time the outsole elongations make up for it. The lacing system is a classic one while there is just enough padding in the tongue and ankle collar. The branding is not as bold as version 4 but it’s pretty close, surely more stylish. 

Sole Unit

The sole unit is where it seems like Nike has tried to implement most of the improvements and it looks like they did a great job. For this sneaker the sole unit is made of a soft EVA material in the forefront and a hard rubber material that goes from the outsole all the way up in the back above and below the Air Max sole unit forming a cupsole in the heel area where the MAX letters stand out. This way the stability of the shoe was vastly improved, with a heel to toe transition that is optimal for cross training. The flat sole also adds to this stability that is much needed when lifting weights. 

While testing these out for this Nike Air Max Alpha Trainer 5 review we surely noted the benefits of the updates this version has. In the gym they surely deliver for cross training sessions but not so much for running on the treadmill where they may feel a bit clunky for those used to wearing speciality running shoes. As casual shoes they look great and they offer great support for all day wear.

Nike Air Max DM0829 004 trainer 4

Nike Air Max DM0829 004 trainer 2

Are Nike Air Max Alpha Trainer 5 good for running?

The Nike Air Max Alpha Trainer 5 is not explicitly designed for running. While it excels in the gym and is suitable for cross-training sessions, it may feel a bit clunky for running on the treadmill, especially for those accustomed to specialty running shoes. The shoe’s sole unit, optimized for stability in cross-training and weightlifting activities, does not provide the flexibility and cushioning typically sought after in running shoes. Therefore, if running is a primary focus, users might prefer a dedicated running shoe instead of the Nike Air Max Alpha Trainer 5.

Nike Air Max Alpha Trainer 5 vs Metcon 8

The Nike Air Max Alpha Trainer 5, priced at $90, and the Nike Metcon 8, priced at $130, cater to similar athletic needs, the first being the “budget” option. The Alpha Trainer 5 is designed for versatility, functioning well as both gym and everyday shoes. With a mesh and synthetic overlay upper, it offers ventilation and strategic support. The EVA and rubber sole unit provides stability optimal for cross-training, making it a solid choice for various activities. On the other hand, the Metcon 8, priced higher at $130, is specifically engineered for CrossFit and gym activities. Featuring a re-engineered upper for durability and a stable heel for weightlifting, it excels in performance-oriented workouts. While the Alpha Trainer 5 is more affordable and versatile, the Metcon 8 targets fitness enthusiasts seeking enhanced stability and durability for intense training sessions.

Bottom Line 

To conclude our review, the Nike Air Max Alpha Trainer 5 is surely one of the best gym shoes on the market today. They are a versatile sneaker that can also be worn for everyday activities , offering solid support even for long hours standing up. At $90 retail price it offers a great value, being a durable sneaker while boosting some stylish, modern looks. While not using their most advanced technologies, Nike have striked a nice balance with these in terms of quality and price. 

Nike Air Max Alpha Trainer 5 green orange

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